The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences


The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences

Infobox_University


name = The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences
motto = "Yuktiheena Vicharetu Dharmahnih Prajayate"
(Judgement Devoid Of Logic Destroys Dharma)

established = 1999
type = Public
founder = Jyoti Basu
chancellor = Justice K. G. Balakrishnan, Chief Justice of India
vice_chancellor = Prof. (Dr.) Mahendra P Singh
student body president=
student body vice president=
city = Kolkata
state = West Bengal
country = India
students =
undergrad = 600
postgrad = 10
campus = Urban, 5 Acres
affiliations = UGC
website = [http://www.nujs.edu www.nujs.edu]

The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, abbreviated to WBNUJS or NUJS is a specialised law university offering courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is situated in Salt Lake City of Kolkata, West Bengal, India. NUJS is one of the seven elite national law schools in India built on the five-year law degree model proposed and implemented by the Bar Council of India.

The University offers a five year integrated B.A./BSc. LLB (Hons.) degree programme at the undergraduate level and a Master of Laws (LLM) programme at the postgraduate level. Admission to the former programme is through the Common Law Admission Test, a highly competitive, nationwide common entrance examination, held jointly by the seven national law schools. NUJS also offers MPhil and PhD degrees.

History

NUJS was established in 1999 by the Bar Council of India, in conjunction with the Government of West Bengal. Somnath Chatterjee, the Speaker of India's Lower House of Parliament, has described NUJS as the "brainchild" of Jyoti Basu, the former Chief Minister of West Bengal who, like Chatterjee, is a Middle Temple barrister [ http://speakerloksabha.nic.in/speech/SpeechDetails.asp?SpeechId=225 Somnath Chatterjee's Address at the Second Annual Convocation of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, 23 June 2007] , accessed 21 June 2008] . During the first two years of its existence, NUJS did not have an operationalised permanent campus. Classes were held at Aranya Bhavan, a building owned by the West Bengal Government, and students resided in government flats. On 28 October, 2002, the University's present-day permanent campus was inaugurated by the then Chief Justice of India, B N Kirpal. [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?artid=26500709Laws should be dynamic: BN Kirpal, Times of India, 28 Oct 2002] , accessed 21 June 2008] . In 2006, NUJS was allotted a five-acre plot in New Town, Rajarhat, an upscale township being developed by the West Bengal government.

Academic Reputation

NUJS has a strong academic reputation. LexisNexis Halsbury's Law Monthly rates NUJS as a "Tier One" law school, jointly with the NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, and the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, and states that NUJS's "placement process is at par with the other two colleges in the top tier." [http://www.lawentrance.com/top_law_schools_in_india_and_abroad.pdfTop Law Schools in India and Abroad, Halsbury's Law Monthly, December 2007] , accessed 21 June 2008] . In 2008, in a ranking conducted jointly by the Wall Street Journal and Mint (a business newspaper of the Hindustan Times group), NUJS was rated as the third best law school in India (behind NLSIU and NALSAR), with the best "Pedagogic systems and process" amongst all law schools in the country. [ http://www.livemint.com/2008/06/12012600/2008/06/12001201/C8398807-CAB9-491F-83EF-3D5B62CE5CFEArtVPF.pdf HT-WSJ Rankings for the TOP 15 LAW COLLEGES IN INDIA 2008] , accessed 23 June 2008] . Overall, the survey awarded NUJS a score of 607 out of 800, while NLSIU and NALSAR achieved scores of 621 and 609 respectively. However, the news magazine India Today ranked NUJS sixth in 2007 and 2008, below law schools that Halsbury's Law Monthly classifies as Tier Two and Tier Three institutions. [ India's Best Colleges, India Today, 2 June 2008 ] . In 2006, India Today did not even feature NUJS (along with a few other national law schools) in their rankings. India Today's 2006 rankings was criticised as having "gaping flaws" and having caused a "wave of confusion" by lawentrance.com, a website popular amongst law school aspirants [http://www.lawentrance.com/lstresponsetorankings2006.htmLST’s Official Response to the India Today Rankings 2006, June 2, 2006] , accessed 21 June 2008] .

The popular press has described NUJS as "one of the top three NLUs" [ http://www.hindu.com/2007/03/12/stories/2007031203030300.htmNLUs, a preferred recruitment destination] , accessed 21 June 2008] ("The Hindu"),"one of the most prestigious institutions for legal education in the country" [http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070118/asp/careergraph/story_7274373.aspAn eye on law January 18, 2007] , accessed 21 June 2008] ("The Telegraph"),and a University whose students' moot court achievements "put Kolkata on the world map in less than three years" [ http://www1.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/43507000.cmBy law: NUJS is the world champion. 16 May 2003,] , accessed 21 June 2008] ("The Times of India").

Ethos

NUJS was established in consonance with the Prof Menon's concerns that a law school must act as a tool of "social engineering". Echoing such a belief, NUJS's purported goals "inter alia" are:

* To advance and disseminate learning and knowledge of law and legal processes and their role in national development
* To develop in the student and research scholar a sense of responsibility to serve society by developing skills in regard to advocacy, legal service, legislation, law reforms and the like.
* To promote inter-disciplinary study of law in relation to management, technology, inter national cooperation and development.

According to Professor Mahendra P Singh, the University's incumbent Vice Chancellor, it is NUJS's "endeavour to teach students the value of social justice so that they can help the weaker sections of society." [ http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070118/asp/careergraph/story_7274373.asp An eye on law January 18, 2007] , accessed 21 June 2008] . It is undeniable that most academicians in NUJS espouse socialist and/or left-wing beliefs, although students are given full freedom and sometimes even encouraged to adopt contrary positions. In the past, the University has had a Marxist scholar, Professor B S Chimni, as its Vice Chancellor. However, the overwhelming majority of students have so far opted for lucrative jobs in the corporate sector and shunned opportunities to work as "social engineers". Elective subjects linked to business and commerce (e.g. Corporate Finance and Competition Law) typically have large numbers of students opting for them, while electives linked to social concerns and human rights (e.g. Gender and Law, Culture and Pluralism) have few takers, sometimes none. In an article written for the "The Hindu", Dr Ajay Gudavarthy, a former teacher at NUJS and NLSIU, criticised both these institutions as being "tailored for the corporates" and argued that they could end up as "professional institutions without social relevance." [ http://www.thehindu.com/2004/11/02/stories/2004110203131000.htm Ajay Gudavarthy, Tailored for the corporates? November 2, 2004] , accessed 21 June 2008]

Campuses

Salt Lake Campus

NUJS's main campus is located on a prime five-acre plot in Salt Lake City, overseeing the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. The National Insitute of Fashion Technology and the College of Leather Technology border the Campus. The Hyatt Regency and the ITC Sheraton Sonar Bangla, two of Kolkata's largest luxury hotels are situated close to the Campus. The Salt Lake Campus was designed by the architectural firm Ghosh,Bose and Associates, which also designed the Hyatt Regency. Like the Hyatt Regency, NUJS' central building is an example of the Modernist school of architecture, characterised by minimalist design and open spaces. The front facade has a large, standalone, Neo-Doric style column that also acts as a support (this has been nicknamed by students as the "Pillar of Justice").

Other prominent landmarks within walking distance from the campus include the Yuva Bharati Krirangan (one of the world's largest football stadiums), the Bengal Tennis Academy, the multiplex 89 Cinemas, the Nicco Super Bowl bowling alley, the Stadel resort hotel, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, AMRI Hospital, the Abcos Food Plaza and the supermarkets Charnock City and Food Bazaar. The Campus is also a fifteen minutes' drive away from Kolkata's famous Park Street, a location that has been at the heart of the city's nightlife since the days of the British Raj and whose restaurants have been credited with having launched some of India's earliest jazz and rock musicians. Tangra, South Asia's only Chinatown, is also situated a few minutes' drive away from the Campus, and its eateries are a popular haunt amongst students.

The Salt Lake Campus consists of an academic block and three residential blocks. The latter comprises two separate, seven-storied halls of residence for girls and boys and a double-storied faculty accommodation house-cum-guest house. The University's academic block, christened after B.R. Ambedkar, is a four-storied octagonal structure that opens inwardly to a lawn. The building houses Class rooms, a library and reading room, two modern conference halls, various offices and an auditorium. The NUJS Library houses over 20,000 titles and, owing largely to a donation from the estate of the late Justice Durga Das Basu, contains many rare books of historical importance. The reading room is equipped computers linked to major Indian and international onlne legal databases. In addition to the main library, each School of the University has its own specialised library.

NUJS also holds institutional memberships with leading libraries in the cities such as the British Council Library and the American Information Resource Center. Besides this, law students from other universities are encouraged to use the library for research and study.

Admission to the hostels is conducted simultaneously with admission to the University. Although most students reside in the hostels for the entire duration of their course, some local residents choose live off campus in their homes. The hostels provide reasonable amenities to the students and has a mess serving vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. Washrooms are modern and hostel rooms are equipped with round-the-clock internet access. The hostels have their own rules of discipline, which are primarily administered by the Wardens in association with students. Self-governance is encouraged for which powers are delegated to select student representatives. The hostel mess is managed by a Mess Committee managed by the residents themselves. There is a doctor available for consultation, who visits the hostel regularly. This apart, the University organizes medical help whenever needed through tie-ups with hospitals located in the Salt Lake area. The Corporation Bank, a public sector undertaking, has opened a branch inside the campus and offers banking facilities, including an ATM facility.

The Salt Lake Campus has limited sports facilities and the University authorities have attempted to compensate for this by forging a tie-up with the Sports Authority of India, whose sports complex is located a few metres away from the University.

Rajarhat Campus

NUJS's Rajarhat Campus is yet to be operationalised by the University authorities. No significant construction activity has been undertaken and the land presently lies vacant. Amongst the proposals that have been put forward to the auhorities for the development of the Rajarhat Campus has been the construction of a dedicated sports complex.

Vice Chancellors of NUJS

Academic Schools & Research Centres

NUJS is organised into a number of Schools of study, each independent in conception and operation, yet integrated through programmes of teaching, research and extension activities. These schools of study include:
* The School of Criminal Justice and Administration
* The School of Economic and Business Laws
* The School of Legal Practice and Development
* The School of Private Laws and Comparative Jurisprudence
* The School of Public Law and Governance
* The School of Social Sciences
* The School of Technology, Law and Development

The Research Centres established at the University are:

* The Centre for Gender and Law.
* The Centre for Human Rights and Citizenship Studies
* The Centre for WTO Law

The Schools and the Centres undertake regular projects which are funded by the Government of India, the Department of Economic Affairs, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Ministry of Home Affairs,the United Nations Development Programme and the Ford Foundation, among others.

The University publishes its own peer reviewed law journals, the "NUJS Law Review" and the "Indian Juridical Review".

Faculty

Presently, the University's faculty is a mix of young and experienced scholars, hailing from diverse backgrounds. The experienced faculty members include former Supreme Court of India judge Justice Ruma Pal (currently the Ford Foundation Professor of human rights) and former CBI director and Governor of Mizoram A.P. Mukherjee, who teaches criminal law subjects. A number of faculty members have studied in prestigious universities abroad. The faculty includes two Oxonians, a Fulbright scholar and three Chevening Scholars. Lecturers educated in India are alumni of institutions such as NLSIU, Jawaharlal Nehru University and, in a recent trend, NUJS itself.

In addition to lectures by permanent faculty members, the University regularly organises lectures and interactive seminars attended by eminent jurists, lawyers and academicians from India and abroad. Visitors who have delivered lectures and interacted with students include Lord Robin Auld, Sir Igor Judge, Justice Zakaria Yacoob from the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer, Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah , Upendra Baxi, Ram Jethmalani, Indira Jaising, Vandana Shiva, Bibek Debroy and Jayati Ghosh.

NUJS's locational accessibility has made it possible for professors from Kolkata's other reputed institutions to visit the campus and take classes. Professors from institutions such as the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, the Indian Statistical Institute, the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Presidency College, Kolkata, St. Xavier's College, Calcutta and Jadavpur University often visit NUJS.

Courses on offer

The five year integrated BA/BSc LLB(Hons) Degree programme is the undergraduate course offered. While the post-graduate courses offered is the LL.M. degree. The University also offers doctoral degrees.

B.A./ B. Sc. LL. B (Hons.) Degree Programme

The admission shall be based exclusively on the performance in the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). However, to qualify for admission, the candidate:(a) must have passed the Higher Secondary School Examination (10+2) or an examination equivalent thereof, securing, in aggregate, not less than 50% in all the core subjects and English put together.:(b) must not have completed 20 years of age as on day of admission.

This programme attracts school leaving bright young aspirants to the field of law.The five- year undergraduate course is divided into ten semesters and enrolls 125 students every year. The students represent almost all the States of India and a few join from foreign countries. This programme offers advanced legal education with an emphasis on critical thinking and self-enquiry on the one hand and acquisition of practical skills and knowledge on the other. The eventual goal being to train the next generation of leaders in the academia, bar, judiciary and non—governmental organizations worldwide.

LL.M programme

The LL.M degree course is a two-year post graduate course. This programme is interested in attracting students who either wish to join the academia or seek to acquire advanced research skills before joining the legal profession. The students therefore come from a wide variety of back grounds with divergent legal interests and career plans. The admission shall be based exclusively on the performance in the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). However, to qualify for admission, the candidate should have secured LL.B. degree or its equivalent from a recognized University, having obtained not less than 50% marks in the aggregate.

The LL.M. programme comprises a range of compulsory and optional courses and a disserta tion to be completed within a time frame of four semesters. In the first semester, the students are expected to complete three compulsory courses. In each of the second and third semesters, they have to complete three optional courses respectively. These courses are identified by the Post Graduate Council (PGC) of the University in consultation with its Faculty Council. Students are allowed to make their suggestions regarding choices/preferences of any subject or subjects to the PGC which is given due consideration. A dissertation is to be written in the fourth semester on an approved topic. The students are expected to make presentations on their dissertation one month in advance to their submission and also take up independent teaching assignments on certain subjects.

M.PHIL programme

The M. Phil Degree Programme is specifically designed for aspiring legal academics i.e., students who wish to pursue sustained independent study and research and are planning careers in law teaching.

The Postgraduate Council (PGC) shall constitute an Advisory Committee of three members for each M.Phil student. Each student will be under the supervision of a Faculty member (Faculty Advisor) who will be identified according to his/her specialization in the field of law in consonance with the student’s topic for the dissertation. A work-plan is then to be chalked out l the Faculty Advisor, indicating the teaching, research, seminars and other assignments to be undertaken by the M. Phil student. This work-plan shall be executed by the student with prior approval from both the Faculty Council and the PGC. The candidate will be eligible for receipt of the degree only if he/she completes the prescribed requirements of the course within a maximum period of three years.

PHD and the LL.D programmes

The PhD and LL.D degrees are two of the most advanced law degrees. The candidates to these degrees are expected to produce a thesis that will constitute a substantial and valuable contribution to legal scholarship. The students would be expected to incorporate the insights of other disciplines into their work, drawing on the expertise and assistance not only available at NUJS but also from other leading universities of the world. The doctoral programme call for intense individual efforts requiring sustained discipline and self-direction. Since the doctoral programme are designed to train law teachers, having the opportunity to practice one’s teaching skills is critical. The candidate would therefore be given teaching assignments in addition to making presentations before the faculty community.

Legal Aid Society

Another innovative idea of Prof. Menon, the Legal Aid Society was set up in 2000 with the aim of providing basic legal education, awareness and counseling. This also provides students practical training and an opportunity to gain field experience in law. The Legal Aid Society has undertaken the following categories of activities:

* Legal Aid Clinic & Counseling - The Legal Aid Clinic has been set up as a permanent body to provide free legal advice and resolution of disputes without long drawn and expensive litigation. This is done by providing legal and para-legal assistance. The clinic is presided over by the Faculty Advisor, Shri N.Konar, a former judge. Assistance is also provided by other former Judges in the faculty. The Clinic has been functional since 9th November, 2002 and has tendered advise to several cases.

* Human Rights and Public Education - for empowering people through legal education and instilling in them consciousness about their rights and duties. This is done through field visits in semi-urban and rural areas as well as publicized seminars and workshops within the university itself.

* Youth for Social Justice - A social awareness program that targets young people with the objective of ingraining in impressionable minds a sense of social justice.

* Law Enforcement Assistance - This subcommittee works with law enforcement authorities such as the police, Government, pollution control board, for providing an interface to people in order to promote legal awareness and law-enforcement.
* Para Legal Services and Training - The purpose of this activity is to build relationships with other agencies that work in the field such as NGOs, to facilitate exchange of information. The Society seeks to provide training and services in the form of documental consultancy and research to these agencies.

* Public Interest Advocacy Support services - In the form of documentation, obtaining empirical data and other allied research are to be provided for public advocacy of popular concerns and Public interest Litigations.

* Lok Adalat and ADR assistance - As part of its goal to encourage alternate dispute resolution, the Legal Aid Society organizes Lok Adalats in association with the W.B. Legal Aid Authority. Till date one Lok Adalat, specially for women was held in November 2003.

Lectures

1. K.C. Basu Endowment Lecture

The K.C. Basu Endowment Lecture is an annual lecture instituted by Dr. Kaushik Basu, Professor of Economics, Cornell University in his father's name. The recurring theme of this Annual Lecture is Law & Economics.

List of Speakers:

*2003 - Professor Amartya Sen
*2004 - Professor Pranab Bardhan
*2006 - Professor N. R. Narayana Murthy
*2007 - Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz

2. Durga Das Basu Memorial Lecture

The Inaugural Durga Das Basu Memorial Lecture has been instituted by the late Durga Das Basu's family in memory of the great Constitutional Law scholar.

List of Speakers:

*2005 - Fali S. Nariman

3. Ford Foundation Lecture on Human Rights

List of Speakers:

*2006 - Dr. Professor Upendra Baxi

Alumni

A large number of graduates of NUJS have been recruited by premier law firms of India and abroad by way of a student run campus recruitment process. Recruitment for the batch graduating in 2008 marked the advent of international law firms including Magic Circle firms who have picked up eight students for prestigious training contracts at Clifford Chance, LLP, Allen & Overy,LLP, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, LLP, Herbert Smith, LLP and SJ Berwin, LLP. The domestic law firms which have recruited students from NUJS include Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, Amarchand Mangaldas, AZB & Partners, Trilegal, Economic Law Practice, Wadia Ghandy & Co. and many others. Among companies, ICICI Bank, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Sons, Infosys, Satyam, ITC and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories and many more were the major names which have recruited from campus. The Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI), the capital markets regulator in India have also recruited students from NUJS. Some graduates, albeit a minuscule number, pursue careers in litigation by joining the chambers of Senior Advocates in the Supreme Court of India or various High Courts & Trial Courts. Some graduates have also embarked on a career in law teaching. NUJS graduates have been recruited by the School of Law, Singapore Management University, NLS and NUJS itself as assistant professors and lecturers.

However, some graduates prefer not to sit for the recruitment process. Instead, they decide to pursue higher education at the some of the premier universities abroad, such as Harvard Law School, Oxford University, Cambridge University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Stanford Law School, London School of Economics, New York University School of Law, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, UC Berkeley, Tulane University etc. Graduates have received some of the most prestigious scholarships at these premier universities abroad, including the Felix Scholarship to Oxford University, the Vanderbilt Scholarship (NYU), Shell Centenary Scholarship(Oxford), the J.N. Tata Endowment Scholarship, the Chevening scholarship, and even the uber prestigious Rhodes scholarship.

Achievements

Students NUJS has won numerous encomiums at national and international Moot Court competitions. In 2003, NUJS became the only Indian and second Asian college to win the the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, held at Vienna. [ [http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/moot/awards10.html Tenth Annual Willem C ] ] In 2005, the University Moot team won the Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot, which is held each year in Hong Kong. [http://www.cityu.edu.hk/slw/cisgmoot/awards2005.html] The NUJS Moot teams have been regularly been reaching the 'advanced rounds' of the competition, from its debut in 2003Fact|date=October 2008. In 2005, NUJS also emerged as winners at the Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at Stetson University Law School in Gulfport, Florida, USA [ [http://www.law.stetson.edu/environmental/results2005.asp Stetson University College of Law ] ] . Over the years, the NUJS team has also performed exceedingly well at the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot at Washington D.C. In fact in 2004-05, the NUJS team won the Jessup (North Zone) National Rounds and participated at the International Rounds at Washington D.C., where they proceeded to the 'advanced rounds'.

Besides the above, the University moot team has been a semi-finalist at the Asia Pacific Round of the Manfred Lachs International Space Law Moot at Sydney, Australia. In the last two editions of the biennial Commonwealth Moot Court competition, NUJS has won the national rounds on both occasions, thereby, earning a chance to represent India at the International rounds. They have been finalists and semifinalists at the International Rounds. In 2006, NUJS was selected as one of the teams to represent India at the ELSA WTO Moot Court at Geneva, Switzerland and were semi-finalists in the oral rounds of the same.

Over the years, the University Team has also won the Bar Council of India Moot, M.M. Singhvi - Bar Council of India Moot at NLU Jodhpur [http://nlujodhpur.ac.in/mmsinghvi.html] , K.L.A. Moot, and several other national moot court competitions.

NUJS also participates in a number of parliamentary debates at the international level, including the World Universities Debating Championship (Worlds), All Asian Debating Championship (Asians), Oxford IV, Cambridge IV, etc. The University team has won a number of national debates, 'made the break' at the Asians and at the Worlds (ESL category).

The students of NUJS also actively participate in a number of other extracurricular activities like sports & dramatics.

Student Juridical Association

The student body of the University is known as the Student Juridical Association (SJA). The SJA has an elected President and Vice President and two administrative office bearers, the Administrative Secretary and the Treasurer. The SJA has an Executive Council which is constituted by representatives from the various Student Committees of the SJA and an elected Class Representative from each of the five batches of students. The Student Committees of the SJA are committees for encouraging, organising and playing an administrative role in extracurricular activities within the student body. Such committees include the Moot Court Society, Cultural Committee, Literary and Debating Society, Sports Committee, etc.

The SJA publishes a student-run law journal, the "Juridical Review", the Student Editors of which are guided by a Faculty Advisor and an Editorial Advisory Board.

References

External links

* [http://www.nujs.edu/ Official Website]
* [http://www.outlawed.in/ OUTLAWED: The Annual NUJS Fest - Official Website]
* [http://www.hindu.com/edu/2005/03/28/stories/2005032804540300.htm "The Law School Experience", The Hindu]
* [http://www.hindu.com/2006/08/04/stories/2006080404841600.htm "Quota at IIMs, IITs will not help disadvantaged: Narayanamurthy", The Hindu]
* [http://societyforglobaldemocracy.googlepages.com/ "The Society for Global Democracy",]
* [http://students.indlaw.com/display.aspx?D7FDE39A-BEEB-446F-ABC7-71A46BD2430D "Leading law schools of India"]

ee also


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